The 6th BizSpark Summit was a great success, with some dynamic speakers including Sillicon Valley entrepreneur and host of the summit, Guy Kawasaki. It was fantastic to see and experience the buzz from this event as starts-ups discussed with potential investors, as well as hundreds of people twittering their impressions throughout the day, either as they watched in person, or followed the live stream online.
A key aspect of the Summit’s agenda each year is to see entrepreneur finalists pitching their business concept to a panelist of investors, for a prize of €10,000. This year it was a dead heat between two innovative start-ups : Kobojo and Artesian. Here’s a small recap of their business proposition:
This UK-based company, Artesian, manages sales intelligence from the internet. Founded in 2006 by Yates, Borthwick and Blackadder, its idea is based on the need of companies and sales persons to have accurate customer intelligence but the current difficulties of extracting this key information from the information jungle that is in the internet. Artesian solves the problem by allowing the users of its application to filter information precisely including information from key social networking platforms. The application cleverly sorts this information into a usable format which allows companies to gain real intelligence from the internet. This dynamic start-up now employs over 20 employees.
Artesian is a proud member of BizSpark One (click here to find out more about the Microsoft BizSpark One program which gives them access to support and resources from Microsoft.
Just across the English Channel we find the other BizSpark winner: Kobojo located in Paris, France. Kobojo founded only last year has come a long way, becoming one of Europe’s leading ‘games as a service’ companies, gaining success through targeting the non-English language games market.
Three seems to be the lucky number as Kobojo was also founded by three entrepreneurs: Vergonjeanne, Desgranges and Tetzlaf who had previously been finalists for Microsoft’s Imagine cup for students (click here to find out more about the imagine Cup).
Kobojo has an impressive five million unique users per month and this success has several ingredients:
- The company is completely focused on games as a service
- The use of lean development techniques
- Targets the non-English games market as well as the English
Moving forward, Kobojo is focusing on more Facebook games, smartphone application and distributing other vendors’ games in different languages.
Congratulations to all of the companies who took part in the BizSpark summit, my colleagues and I in the Microsoft BizSpark team wish them every success for the future .
If you want to re-watch the highlights of the BizSpark Investor Summit in May, click here to watch them. (http://www.microsoft.eu/investorsummit)